Lemoine to leave Bristol for France
May 9, 2000

Bristol's tough-tackling prop Pablo Lemoine is leaving at the end of the season to play in France.

The 25-year-old Uruguayan has been a key figure at the Memorial Stadium this season but is being tempted across the channel by lucrative offers.

Lemoine believes he will get a better deal in France, which has attracted a host of players including Scottish, British Lions Gregor Townsend and Tom Smith.

"I don't want to go I love this club and maybe in the future I can come back," said 6ft 1in, 20st Lemoine, who has attracted interest from Castres.

Bristol director of rugby Bob Dwyer said, "Pablo hasn't signed a new contract but we have been talking to him. We would prefer him to stay but it's his decision."

Dwyer has tried to sign Julian White but Saracens insist that their England A tight-head is staying at Vicarage Road for the remaining year of his contract.

However, another of Saracens' rising stars, England Under-21 international Rob Thirlby, could be on his way to Bath when his contract runs out this summer.

Cornishman Thirlby, who impressed in Saturday's defeat at the Recreation Ground, is being lined up to form a potent back three along with the Premiership's leading try scorer Iain Balshaw and England full-back Matt Perry.

"I am talking to Bath and Saracens at the moment," confirmed Thirlby. "I will decide what to do at the end of the season."

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